‘Govt shifting blame for crisis on foreign medical graduates’, says doctors forum

Union Minister Pralhad Joshi had claimed that 90% of Indian students who study abroad — alluding to MBBS — don’t pass India’s qualifying examinations.
Students who were evacuated from Ukraine land at New Delhi airport
Students who were evacuated from Ukraine land at New Delhi airport
Written by:

Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister and Dharwad MP Pralhad Joshi on Monday, February 28, raked up a controversy after he claimed that 90% of Indian students who study abroad —  alluding to MBBS — don’t pass India’s qualifying examinations. “Those who have come from there, from different countries, 90% of them don't pass our qualifying examinations. I am not looking to go into a debate or discussion. They have gone there, let only good happen to them, that's all I say. It is not a time to compare the costs there and here,” he said, referring to Indian students being evacuated from Ukraine.

A statement by the Progressive Medicos and Scientists Forum (PMSF) said that limited government MBBS seats and lack of affordable medical education in India has forced thousands of MBBS aspirants to seek help from agencies that arrange their admission in medical colleges in eastern Europe, southeast Asia and Oceania, many of which do not require students to clear entrance exams like NEET-UG prior to admission. 

Those who pursue their MBBS degree abroad have to pass the Foreign Medical Graduates Examination (FMGE) to be able to practice in India. The minister’s comment comes amidst already existing uncertainty for students who have been evacuated about their future. The rules of the Foreign Medical Graduate Licentiate (FMGL) regulations state that MBBS aspirants can take up to 10 years to complete the programme. They also state that besides the minimum course work tenure of 4.5 years, candidates need to intern for two years, including 12 months in the foreign medical institute where they are studying and another year of supervised internship in India. The MBBS programme in Ukraine lasts for six years, and being more affordable in comparison to that in private medical colleges in India, is a popular choice among Indian students.

“These countries, unlike India, have a relatively adequate number of medical universities, most of them entirely public funded, which select and train sufficient numbers of their own young nationals into medical graduates for little or no tuition fee, who after graduating take care of the entire population of their fellow citizens. With additional capacity to train foreign students on a monetary basis they welcome FMGs (foreign medical graduates),” the statement by PMSF added.  

“Hospitality and comfort are not on the menu in all out wars. They may or may not be doing their best to cater to Indian Foreign Medical graduates but the Indian government needs to protect its citizens within or outside its borders. These Indian students are in the most desperate hour of their lives till now,” the PMSF statement said. 

It added that with people asking questions such as why people go to small foreign nations to become doctors instead of pursuing education in India, the Indian government “is feigning ignorance from the rampant commercialization of medical education and health care here in India.”

 “GoI is shifting the blame for the current situation and responsibility for their safety onto these Indian Foreign Medical graduates itself,” it added. 

It added that the response of IT cells to pleas for help has been vitriolic and organised. It added that these students are being targeting for leading relatively privileged lives, but those from political and business families allied with the ruling government are “ always dutifully spared from their spiteful wrath.”

The PMSF demanded immediate evacuation and safe return to home for stranded Indian nationals from the war zone; coordination with Romanian border authority for their safe passage through their country; and special provision by NMC (National Medical Commission) to consider the transfer of these MBBS students to medical colleges in other countries.

Related Stories

No stories found.
The News Minute